Cliff and I often have discussions pertaining to the Church, God, and the Bible.
I want my readers to know I am not having a crisis of faith. I love God, Jesus, the Church, and Christians (most of them... I’m only human after all).
But there’s this “tithe” thing.
I was raised in a church that didn’t tell us how much to give. No percentage, no tithe (one-tenth of your income). We believed that tithing was a Jewish law, not necessarily meant for the Church.
Although in Acts, many of the early Christians gave everything they owned, in an almost communistic way. God led those folks to do that, and it's fine. I do believe tithing is a good and worthy goal.
Later in life, I found a Church I loved, that pretty much insisted all members tithe (give 10%).
I never did that, because I still believed what I grew up with, and what I believed the New Testament Church stood for. I believe a Christian should read the Bible for herself, pray, and see what God has to say.
Here’s the problem Cliff has with “tithing”, and I rather agree: When you tithe to a Church, most of that money goes to pay a preacher who drives an expensive car and lives in housing most of the members couldn't afford. It goes to a building program, and it goes to pay utilities on a lavish building. I love good preaching, and I know much of it is done in expensive buildings. Still....
There are millions starving, all over the world. There are orphans and homeless folks. People are dying of cancer and AIDS. What if I’d rather my money went to those causes? Does a loving God care about these? Does He count this? My Bible tells me this: “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” James 1:27
My husband is one of the most giving people I know. He can’t pass a Salvation Army bell-ringer without dropping in a dollar or two. He tips waiters and waitresses because he appreciates the fact that they’re willing to work. He’s helped people when we really didn’t have the funds to do it, because he has a giving heart.
He just wants his money to go where it will do the most good.
I hope I haven’t opened up a can of worms here, but if you’d like to tell me what you think about this subject, go right ahead.